Trouble introducing new hen

Kkristy

Hatching
Oct 5, 2021
3
1
6
Trouble introducing new hen

I grew two chickens from the egg, one turned out to be a hen and one turned out to be a rooster. We felt pretty bad for the rooster so we figured we try our best to keep them. In order to make it so that the one hens life wasn’t just constantly being harassed by the rooster, we decided to get another hen. She’s relatively smaller than the other two and very very docile and submissive. Whenever we try to introduce her the other chickens and they start having a go at her. It’s not like she fights back or doesn’t except her place, she just cowers in a corner of the run and takes it as they peck at her and pull her feathers. We’ve tried removing the rooster and putting him in another cage, but the hen still has a go at it. The hen will pull and pull on feathers and peck until she sees blood and then we have to separate the two.As of right now the original and an original rooster are in one run and coop. The other hand is staying in our wood room and has her own run. We’re not entirely sure what to do we figured since she was so submissive they would tale to her but they’re not some people have suggested that getting rid of the rooster might make the other hand less aggressive. Any suggestions?
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 3, 2009
129,114
417,144
2,027
New Jersey
:welcome Sorry for the circumstances. Sadly, bigger chickens in an established flock pick on smaller or new birds. It's generally best to add several birds at a time and provide hiding places so that they can escape the birds of the established flock. I doubt that getting rid of the rooster would make the hen less aggressive.
 

Kkristy

Hatching
Oct 5, 2021
3
1
6
If you can separate the new hen so the other two birds can see her but not peck at her for a couple weeks that might also help
Hi we have her in a cage that’s right beside the main run of the other two. They see each other every day I can’t get out each other, I’ve been trying to let them free range of it together but the other 2 tend to chase her. And I had a bit of a loss, I’m worried about the cold of winter setting in. I tried her with just the other hand today, but all it did was chase her and try to pull her feathers out. I ended up separating them again. They’ve been living beside each other in the cage for about three weeks now
 

Kkristy

Hatching
Oct 5, 2021
3
1
6
:welcome Sorry for the circumstances. Sadly, bigger chickens in an established flock pick on smaller or new birds. It's generally best to add several birds at a time and provide hiding places so that they can escape the birds of the established flock. I doubt that getting rid of the rooster would make the hen less aggressive.
I can return the hen to the woman I bought her from, but my son is pretty attached to her. So we’re trying to find a way to make it work
 

Swbertrand1

Crowing
Apr 21, 2018
1,125
1,523
271
Wilmington, NC
That's a tough one since you're only dealing with three birds. You might remember how three friends worked in elementary and junior high school. Like in those scenarios, the rooster is likely not the biggest problem right now, rather it's the 2 vs 1 thing.

Removing the rooster may help, but I doubt the hens will ever be really close since they didn't grow up together, and even then it's a coin-toss as to whether they'll be friends when they mature.

Is it possible to add a few more birds to the group of three? That would put your low-ranking bird, the new one, a little higher in the initial pecking order giving her a chance to mature a little on her own.

Short of a few more birds, I don't see this situation improving much. Sorry... :-(
 
Sep 30, 2021
361
862
181
Utah
You can keep her in there during the day and put her in the coop at night when the others are sleeping. It's a pain but it might give them the extra time they need to adjust
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
12 Years
Nov 12, 2009
9,746
14,079
656
western South Dakota
Is the new hen laying? Often times, when she is laying, she is more equal. But if she is laying I do have an idea.

Pull both of the original birds out of the coop/run. Put the new bird in the coop/run by herself. Now often times you can just let the old birds outside in your yard. They should hang pretty close to the coop. Feed along the fence. When it gets dark, pick up the new girl, put her where you have her now, and let the pair back into the coop to go to roost.

Repeat this for a week. This allows the new girl to be comfortable and not afraid in the coop/run and get some territorial rights. It also allows the old birds to see her in there and get used to the idea. It is a lot of monkeying around, but I would do it until I see the new bird acting like a normal bird in that set up. And that may take some time.

Then let the new bird out in yard. Arm yourself with a high powered squirt gun, if they go for her, give them a blast of water. Just enough to make them back off. If the new girl wants to go back to the coop let her. It may take some patience, but I did this with a young bird, and 8 older ones, and got her accepted into the flock.

A lot depends on the size of your coop. What are the measurements? Take a picture?

Good luck
 

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